Education and Science, Estonia, EU – Baltic States, Funds

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 20.06.2019, 10:24

R&D council: Estonia needs national priorities to participate in Europe's research funding

BC, Tallinn, 12.09.2018.Print version
The Estonian Research and Development Council at a discussion on Tuesday noted that Estonia needs to lay down national priorities in order to successfully participate in the Horizon Europe program supporting European research and innovation, informed LETA/BNS.

"In order to successfully participate in the new research funding program, we need to set national thematic priorities and think how to more efficiently support the participation of researchers and companies in the program," chairman of the council Prime Minister Juri Ratas was quoted by spokespeople as saying.

According to current proposals, the volume of the preparatory Horizon Europe program for 2021-2027 is over 94 billion euros. The aim of the program is to support research and innovation to increase the productivity and competitiveness of European countries. Another objective is to support the achievement of sustainable development goals and help along with the solving of global problems.

Ratas said that Estonia supports both the program's new budget proposal as well as its aims. "The competitiveness of Europe and our future living environment depend on how smartly we can face the future and this is why the support of research and innovation must increase on the European level," he said.

Compared to the program lasting until 2020, the plan for funding European research in the future is to focus more on innovation and funding the innovative projects of individual companies. Cooperation models that have become complex will also be simplified and cohesion with other large policies of the European Union will be increased.

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rene Tammist said that the changes planned in the Horizon Europe program also support Estonia's aim to create a clearer connection with the increase in national research funding and the added value of economy and our companies. "The more research-intensive Estonian entrepreneurship is, the higher the added value of products and services we can create. Our competitiveness on the global market will also increase as a result of this," he said.

The European Commission is in the process of preparing a continuation of the research and innovation funding program Horizon 2020, which was the European Union's largest ever with a budget of 77 billion euros. Estonia is among the five most successful countries in this program, having participated in 406 projects as of June, the budget of which was over 115 million euros. An indication of success is also the fact that the EU's funding per one research worker here is 165 percent of the countries' average and Estonia stands at 264 percent of the EU's average in terms of funding volume.

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